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Fire and Ice by the River

Oregon Winterfest

When Central Oregonians find themselves ensconced in fleece, down by the Deschutes River in the Old Mill, taking in the sights of dozens of sculptures of fire and ice, it must be Oregon WinterFest. Sponsored by OnPoint Community Credit Union, the 15th annual winter celebration runs Friday through Sunday, February 12 to 14.

Kids will enjoy the OMSI Kids Area, complete with bouncy houses, games and live entertainment, including the performing dog show JD Platt and his K9 Kings. Live music will play from inside the enormous, all-weather tent, while people marvel at the creativity of the fire pit- and ice-sculptures made for competition, or shop in the craft-filled marketplace. For those interested in death-defying stunts, Metal Mulisha is back with high-flying motocross tricks.

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The weekend kicks off on Friday night with a wine walk through the Old Mill District shops. On Saturday, the focus is on the kids as they race from station to station, collecting ingredients to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate in the Kid’s Hot Cocoa Run. Sunday’s 5K and 10K Royal Run allows racers to compete along the Deschutes River, on a mix of pavement and trails. As always, there will be a surprise twist to the race, such as 2014’s Warrior Dash obstacle-based theme.

The Fire King and Ice Queen will reign over the all-ages festival, starting with the kick-off coronation on Friday night. Local non-profit Saving Grace, which promotes the value of living life free from violence, is the beneficiary of this winter’s festival. See oregonwinterfest.com

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